Regularly donating to this initiative gives someone the same opportunities that I had and it is a way for me to show my gratitude for all I gained from my time at Bancroft鈥檚.

Michael Baum OB 1998-2005


Nicole Stimpson OB 2013-2020

I have such gratitude towards the Bancroft鈥檚 Foundation for their support – were it not for my assisted place, I would have not had the opportunities and experiences that have been instrumental in shaping me into the well-rounded young adult (I would at least like to think) I am today. The academically rigorous environment at Bancroft鈥檚 challenged me to be ambitious and enabled me to realise my potential. At Bancroft鈥檚 there鈥檚 also an acknowledgement that there鈥檚 a world beyond academic and that extracurricular activities are just as enriching as academic life. Some of the most memorable moments from my time at Bancroft鈥檚 took place 鈥榦utside the classroom鈥 whether that be on the stage, sports field, or on a trip.

The staff are a real credit to the school and show a genuine interest in each student; I always felt like the staff were rallying behind me and celebrating my achievements (big and small) with me. Oxford had been a distant dream since I was quite young, but I had convinced myself it was 鈥榦ut of reach鈥 – the staff at Bancroft鈥檚 encouraged me to apply and I鈥檓 especially thankful to my RS teacher, who spent many lunchtimes and evenings with me honing my application. I鈥檓 now half-way through my undergraduate degree in Theology and Religion and have just been awarded an academic scholarship by my college 鈥 an achievement I鈥檓 especially proud of!

Without wanting to sound clich茅, I firmly believe that a Bancroft鈥檚 education is transformational. I鈥檓 conscious that there are lots of bright, deserving children in a similar situation to myself, whose parents might not consider Bancroft鈥檚 a feasible option for them 鈥 it seems to me a profound loss that their potential might go 鈥榰ntapped鈥 due to their family鈥檚 financial situation. I really do hope that Bancroft鈥檚 is able to continue and expand its commitment to broadening access to the School.

Hayden Poon OB 2011-2018听

I am thankful to have had the opportunity of attending a prestigious independent school thanks to the Bancroft’s Foundation. It greatly benefited me to have had this education in the form of my GCSE and A Level grades as well as my work ethic and attitude to learning. My assisted place allowed to me to achieve 10 A*s and 1 A in GCSEs and A*BB A level grades allowing me to attend a respected Russell group university.听 The quality of teaching I experienced transferred to the skills and knowledge required for my university learning and I am grateful for my time at Bancroft’s.

Bancroft’s promotes a very strong work-ethic and environment for academic excellence as almost all the students are eager to learn and achieve their maximum potential.

I am a strong proponent of assisted places as they give an opportunity for those from more financially challenged families to break through the barriers of social inequalities by having the same education.

Sophie Turrell OB 2013-2015

My assisted place gave me the opportunity to progress further than I would have had the opportunity to. I was left beaten and unmotivated by the state school system and having the opportunity to attend Bancroft鈥檚 changed my outlook for my future. I have gained so many amazing friendships with students and staff alike.

Thanks to the assisted place I received and all the opportunities that I have been presented with since, I am now the holder of a training contract, and will be going on to qualify as a solicitor! Thank you for everything everyone has done for me.

Daniel Morgan Thomas OB 2005-2012

Receiving a Bancroft’s education gave me the opportunity to thrive educationally and personally in my time at the school. Without an assisted place, I could not have imagined attending and would have missed out on being stretched and challenged academically in an environment that instilled the highest possible standards. I would also have missed out on the wide range of cultural activities that defined my time at school, from choral singing and drama to public speaking and quizzing! Considering the amount of support I received, I was always impressed that I was never treated any differently鈥 in fact I was actively encouraged to take part in activities like school trips for which I required additional funding to take part in. I am very grateful to have received so much support and hope the school is successful in raising further funds.


Michael Baum OB 1998-2005

Bancroft鈥檚 was where I developed a sense of confidence and was where I was encouraged not just to go and do, but go and become, who I wanted to be. Bancroft鈥檚 influenced who I am as a person, and that influence and support, particularly from staff, is something that I have only now come to appreciate. The school鈥檚 culture and character helped build a quiet confidence and sense of self-belief. It instilled the idea that I should try hard and aim high for whatever it is I want to do.

I support the Foundation through the Dan Clack Award, primarily because of my personal connection to Dan. I don鈥檛 need to expand here on how good a person Dan was: that is obvious to all who knew him. The scholarship is not only a way to keep Dan鈥檚 memory alive, but is also a fitting tribute to his selflessness, and allows others to gain as much from the school as Dan did.

I will always remember Bancroft鈥檚 as a place where there are people from all backgrounds. I was fortunate and my parents sacrificed a lot for me and my siblings to go to Bancroft鈥檚.听 I want to help give others that same opportunity and experience. I can never repay my parents or quantify my own experience i but I can help to make sure all of their efforts, and all of Bancroft鈥檚 opportunities, are experienced and shared by as many people as possible.

Sean Mahdi OB 1975-1982


I vividly recall my first day at Bancroft鈥檚. We had once lived听 nearby, but had left when I was seven to live in Rainham where I went to the local junior school. My parents were not willing to accept that the local comprehensive was my only option, but, with no 11+ in Havering, the only chance was to try for a scholarship. They entered me for Bancroft’s exam without asking me and I turned up without any preparation听 – I think the entrance exam must have been easier back then!

I have no doubt that Bancroft鈥檚 changed my life: the teachers encouraged me to do more than I thought possible and changed my expectations of what I could be and do. At Bancroft鈥檚 you weren鈥檛 a “weirdo” for wanting to do well: to learn history, maths or literature, or to play music or act in a play. Sport was something I鈥檇 hardly had access to in the past, but at Bancroft鈥檚 I became good enough to earn a place in the 1st teams. I even enjoyed cross-country running . Best of all, was the chance to make friends with like-minded children from all sorts of backgrounds.

With that route long gone, I am pleased that Bancroft鈥檚 is renewing its efforts to give more bright children from less well-off backgrounds the chance to change their lives. I鈥檓 proud to be able to give back to the school in some small way through the Assisted Place scheme and allow someone else to have the same chance that I had all those years ago.

Luke Savage OB 1972-1979

More years ago than I care to remember I was fortunate to win a scholarship that saw me spend seven happy and productive years receiving a first class education at Bancroft鈥檚. 听That proved to be the launch pad to a good degree and subsequently a successful career in the City.

Looking back over the past 40+ years it鈥檚 hard to overstate just how much a difference it made to my life and I realise just how lucky I was to have had such a great opportunity. 听 That鈥檚 why I am so supportive of the work of the Foundation: it鈥檚 about giving the next generation that lucky start that enables them to break through the financial barriers to a great education and to fulfil their potential.

Rob Quain OB 1971-1978

I look back with fond memories of my time at Bancroft’s in the 1970s. As well as the fine teaching that set me up for Oxford and a future career in business, I enjoyed playing in the many sports teams that were available at the school. My time in the CCF was especially memorable for the military training and annual camps around the country. All of this may not have been possible had it not been for the Direct Grant funding of the school fees from the local authority. This funding is of course no longer available.

This is why I support the Bancroft’s Foundation. I am giving back something for the privilege of attending such a good local school; and I do see it as a privilege. I believe Bancroft’s must continue to attract the brightest and the best from those living locally regardless of their family financial circumstances. I would recommend to all Old Bancroftians to support the Bancroft’s Foundation. That way, the school will be able to offer more assisted places to bright children who would not otherwise be able to benefit from all the opportunities available at Bancroft’s.

Alan Alvey OB 1957-1964

I was lucky enough to benefit from a London County Council Scholarship to the School (through the Eleven Plus). I consider that I benefitted from my time at Bancroft鈥檚, not only from an academic viewpoint where I didn鈥檛 particularly shine, but also from the range of other activities available. As we do not have any children I would like to give others less fortunate than me the same opportunities.

Steve Sonnis OB 1956-1962

Like many OBs of my generation, I attended Bancroft鈥檚 for free, courtesy of Essex County Council.听 There was no way my family could have afforded the fees!

Since leaving School, my involvement with the Bancroftian community has given me great pleasure. First through the rugby club and the golfing society and then, more recently, in the Presidency of the OBA. As President I saw at first hand just how outstanding Bancroft鈥檚 had become, in all aspects, not just in terms of exam results.

However, there was a concern that, increasingly, access to this outstanding education depended more and more on the ability to pay the fees. This seemed rather at odds with the principles on which the School had been founded. This was why a small group of us OBs worked closely with the School to establish the Foundation in time for the 275th anniversary celebrations of 2012.

Now that the Foundation has been soundly established, I鈥檓 delighted to see Simon Marshall and his management team so determined to take it to a new level. Hopefully, all OBs will feel similarly and will endeavor to make a financial contribution, either now or at some point in the future.

Bob Bewick OB 1956-1963

In 1956, along with over 50% of my entry year to Bancroft鈥檚, I was lucky enough to benefit from an Essex County Council Scholarship without which my parents would have been unable to afford to send me to the School.

I consider that I benefitted enormously from my time at Bancroft鈥檚 not only from an academic viewpoint but also from the range of the sports, other extracurricular activities and the lifelong friendships that I made.

I recall being inspired by my Geography master to pursue a career as a Chartered Surveyor and I consider that Bancroft鈥檚 provided me with the strong foundations and confidence which resulted in a rewarding and happy professional/business life.

Now that I am retired, one of the annual events I most look forward to is a reunion held with a number of my old school chums when we often reflect on the happy and rewarding time we spent at Bancroft鈥檚.

As a beneficiary of one of the County Scholarships available in the 1950s/60s, I am very keen to throw my support behind the Bancroft鈥檚 Foundation.


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